Gable Tostee Reveals what he was Carrying after Warriena Wright fell Fourteen Storeys to her Death
After my write up of Gable Tostee’s statement and nonverbal behaviour analysis a few weeks ago, I received just short of 50 emails in response to it. This is a case that people are passionate about, many believe justice has not been served. With this in mind, I decided to take another look at the case to see whether there was more information I could gather.
At the end of my previous article, I’d found an audio recording on YouTube, it was Tostee’s recording of the night. He’d captured his time spent with Wright that fateful night, including her fall from his fourteenth storey apartment balcony, and almost two hours of what he did next after her fall. I still haven’t yet listened to the full recording, however, one small section I heard answered one question that had been preying on my mind. The same question, I believe, was asked by the jury deliberating the verdict in Tostee’s trial: What was the object seen in Tostee’s hand on CCTV footage, after Wright died?
What was the object seen in Tostee’s hand on CCTV footage, after Wright died?
Justice Byrne told the jury not to speculate on what the object was. However, I believe, it is relevant to what happened in the apartment that night–why else would Tostee be so concerned about taking it from his apartment?
In my previous post about the case, I’d analysed some of Tostee’s statements during Part One of the 60 Minutes interview with Liam Bartlett. In one statement, Tostee had inadvertently revealed that he felt some level of guilt. Could this object hold the clue to what Tostee felt guilty about? What was the object?
Often we hear or see things that don’t consciously register in our brain. Signs that can help us successfully navigate interactions, relationships and life are all around us, however many are missed because we don’t pay conscious attention to them. I’m usually referring to nonverbal behaviour that we can observe in others, in this case, we can’t see Tostee’s behaviour, but we can hear it.
It’s Tostee who reveals, inadvertently, what the object is. Could the same audio recording, which Tostee’s lawyer claimed was the key to getting Tostee acquitted, hold the key to his level of guilt?
A fourteen second section from Tostee’s audio recording of the night gives the game away, telling us, nonverbally, what he’s doing. Just seconds later he leaves his apartment with a shiny, metallic-looking object in his hand. I know that sound and I’m sure many of you will too. I want you to hear it yourself–consciously.
Here’s my analysis of what happens immediately before and during Tostee leaving his apartment. This all takes place within a forty-three second period–a small fraction of the audio recording.
Tostee has just left his apartment and we hear the ding of the elevator–it’s arrived.
Let’s work backwards from here.
Two seconds earlier, we hear what sounds like a door closing. Most likely, it’s the door to Tostee’s apartment. His door must be close to the elevator or significantly loud. He pressed the elevator button eighteen seconds earlier which could mean:
As per Australian Standards, the door is fitted with a door closer mechanism to prevent the spread of fire and smoke throughout the building. Door closers are often set with a delayed mode, allowing additional time before closing, this can vary from seconds to minutes.
Tostee deliberately left his door open while waiting for the elevator. It’s possible he did this to retreat into his apartment, should anyone be around or to wait from the safety of his apartment, watching to make sure the coast was clear.
Prick your ears up for this one and you’ll hear the faint siren of emergency vehicles.
We hear a faint beep, probably the sound of Tostee pressing the elevator button. If so, he waits twenty seconds for it to arrive.
Again, this is very faint, but listen carefully to hear the siren of emergency vehicles on the streets below. Wright’s body has been discovered on the concrete floor, fourteen storeys below. Wright’s death is a tragedy, with a knock-on effect of emotional trauma for the workers who deal with the consequences–not to mention the trauma faced by her family and friends. While Tostee’s aim is to distance himself from the situation, without regard for Wright’s fate, we can only imagine the emotions of those at the scene below.
1:29:08 - 1:29:22
This is the segment of the recording in which Tostee’s behaviour reveals what the object is. It’s just nine seconds before he presses the button to call the elevator.
I’ve set the audio recording below to start close to the point where Tostee’s behaviour gives away his secret of what’s in his hand. Once it starts you can’t miss it, it’s a repetitive behaviour that goes on for fourteen seconds. After that, keep listening to hear:
Emergency service’s siren
The beep of the elevator button
Emergency service’s siren
Elevator arrival ding
If you want to listen to it again, refresh your page to get to the same point, or go to 1:29:08.
Gable Tostee and Warriena Wright’s Audio Recording
Did you recognise the sound? It was familiar to me because I have a version of the object. I’ve replicated Tostee’s behaviour with my version, in my own home. Here’s the recording:
Replicating Gable Tostee’s Behaviour with my Version of the Object
Of Course, the conditions in my home are different. The floor surface, house layout, room size and furnishings can all make a difference to the sound. Regardless of these differences, there is no doubt in my mind, it’s the same object. What’s more, the CCTV images of Tostee caring the object, fit in with the theory–a shiny metallic object, which in some images, seems to have a ridge at the same dimension as a standard version of the object.
Have you guessed it?
Tostee is unscrewing the spin lock collar on what I speculate is a 48 cm/18” adjustable dumbbell handle, designed for lifting weights. My version is the smallest standard handle (35.5 cm/14”), that’s why it took me less time (around ten seconds) to unscrew the collar–the threaded part of the handle is shorter than that on the largest standard size, the 48 cm dumbbell handle. There are three standard lengths of dumbbell handles–35.5, 42 and 48 cm.
I had a quick look around the internet to see if anyone had previously recognised the object Tostee was carrying or its sound. From what I’d already heard, this hadn’t been identified. I did, however, find it had been mentioned and disregarded on a discussion thread on CrimeWatchers.net:
“One chilling new thing I saw today is the evidence regarding the telescope... On the recording, right after Rrie falls to her death, Tostee starts "unscrewing' something heavy, and you can hear a thud or two. I thought he was messing with his weights.
And here's the telescope in bits, an alleged weapon to justify his violence.
What kind of man sees/hears a woman fall to her *death* and then sits down and plays with his telescope?!”
Perhaps, the CrimeWatchers User hadn’t realised it happened only seconds before Tostee had left his apartment, not making the connection to the object in his hand.
I’m sure there are others who had also recognised the sound but hadn’t connected it to the object in Tostee’s hand. Or, who had made the connection and didn’t want to be vocal about it–perhaps those in the bodybuilding forums who were socially connected to Tostee.
Now we know what the object was, it raises a couple of questions:
Why was only one end of the dumbbell unscrewed?
Why is Gable Tostee carrying a dumbbell handle?
Why was only one end of the dumbbell unscrewed?
What’s odd about the unscrewing of the collar from the dumbbell handle, is that only one end is unscrewed, suggesting the collar and weight/s from the other end were already removed. When? I haven’t heard it being unscrewed earlier in the audio recording, that’s not to say it isn’t present.
Had Tostee been interrupted the last time he was lifting weights, leaving them partially rigged? Or, had he removed it earlier that night, before the start of the recording. If so, for what purpose? Did he use it in some way, while he was with Wright? Are there more details in the audio recording that can help us piece together the relevance and significance of the dumbbell handle?
Why is Gable Tostee Carrying a Dumbbell Handle?
In the CCTV footage of Tostee wandering aimlessly on the streets of Surfers Paradise later that night, the object is no longer in his hand–it’s been discarded. In fact, in the audio recording, there’s a clunk sound, probably the point at which he discards it. I’m leaving this for another post, but we can gain an idea of where he is by overlaying the CCTV footage after he leaves his apartment on top of the audio recording. I’ve partially completed this, but I need additional footage to fill in the gaps. If we had done this at the time, the object could have been retrieved. As it is, it’s probably buried deep in a landfill site. Could it be retrieved?
Did Tostee take it to use it as a weapon should he be challenged about Wright’s fall by passers-by, law enforcement or Wright herself–had she miraculously survived the fall? Using it as a weapon could come with significant risk and consequences. That said, we know from Tostee’s previous charges and convictions, he is prepared to take risks. Risks that most people wouldn’t come close to taking.
Or, was it a case of Tostee deliberately discarding potential evidence relating to Wright’s fall, or the lead up to it? Was he trying to conceal certain events that happened that night and why? What was it potential evidence for? Remember, we’re talking about a dumbbell with the collar and weight/s removed from one end.
With the transcript of the recording in mind, a few ideas pop into my head, but I’m not going to go into them here. I’ll leave you to put clues together with the evidence that you’ve seen or heard.
I’ll release another analysis soon.